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Climate change jeopardizing Amazon rainforest, say researchers

January 19, 2013

Climate change jeopardizing Amazon rainforest, say researchers

The Amazon rainforest is in trouble.

A new NASA-led study has found that an area of the Amazon rainforest two times the size of the state of California is still suffering from the impacts of an extreme drought that started in 2005. When combined with observed recurrences of droughts every few years and related damage to the forests in southern and western Amazonia over the past ten years, the study’s findings suggest that climate change may be jeopardizing the Amazon rainforest.

An international research team examined more than a decade of satellite microwave radar data gathered between 2000 and 2009 over Amazonia. The satellite data included measurements of rainfall from NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission and measurements of the water content and structure of the forest canopy from the Seawinds scatterometer on the space agency’s QuikScat spacecraft.

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